Paris, Mar 26 IBNS | 3 years ago

Two Indian citizens were accidentally killed by French troops guarding the Central African Republic capital Bangui's international airport, the French defence ministry said. Six others were also injured in the incident on Monday, BBC reported.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is now in South Africa for BRICS Summit, has said the government will make efforts to ensure the safety of 100 Indian nationals in CAR, said reports.

Rebels in the CAR have reportedly taken Bangui after President Francois Bozize fled.

President Francois Hollande, who has sent hundreds of troops to Bangui, said the rebel fighters should respect the people.

France doubled its military detachment at the airport to around 600 troops on Saturday in order to protect French citizens as rebels approached Bangui, BBC reported.

A French defence ministry in a statement said the French soldiers shot at three vehicles approaching the airport after firing warning shots and themselves coming under fire.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh received a letter from President Francois Hollande of France expressing regret for the tragic incident.

While conveying his condolences, President Hollande assured Prime Minister of his firm determination to investigate the tragic event and assured that the injured were under the care of French medical teams.

Prime Minister in a statement expressed his deep distress at the loss of innocent lives. He has directed that all efforts be made to ensure the safety of approximately 100 Indian nationals in the Central African Republic, mainly in and around Bangui.

The Indian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, who is concurrently accredited to the Central African Republic is making necessary arrangements for the return of the mortal remains of the Indian nationals in accordance with the desires of their next of kin.

(Posted on 26-03-2013)